Many obstacles are still in the way of renewable energy achieving its full potential. A lack of public awareness, governments continue to favour subsidising polluting energy sources, ineffective political frameworks, poor technical expertise and misinformation are all preventing renewable energy from meeting the challenges of carbon-sodden world.
A new voice for the global renewable industry, The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), will be launched on January 26, 2009 in Bonn, Germany with the goal of removing these obstacles. The first meeting of the Preparatory Commission will take place on 27 January 2009, the day after the Founding Conference. All interested UN member states are invited to attend the Founding Conference and become founding members of IRENA
IRENA will work on behalf of the renewables sector to promote the acceleration of renewable energy uptake worldwide. The concept for was IRENA originally presented by EUROSOLAR and the World Council for Renewable Energy. It has been extensively discussed for several years at various international level forums. IRENA’s original founding member countries are Germany, Spain and Denmark.
IRENA will offer practical advice and support for developed and developing countries, assisting in the development of regulatory frameworks and the building of capacity. The agency will provide relevant information including best practices, effective financial mechanisms and also make available state-of-the-art technological
In the 1970s, the oil shock experienced during that decade prompted the foundation of the International Energy Agency (IEA). While the IEA is beginning to acknowledge the looming Peak Oil crisis and the importance of the role of renewable energy in the future, it is still very much widely seen as “old school”, serving the interests of the oil and coal industry. IRENA will provide the solar power, wind energy and other renewable sectors sectors their own dedicated representative; lobbying on behalf of the sector to help ensure that renewables receive the funding and support they deserve in countries throughout the world.